Quality assurance and quality control occupy a lot of our time and energy here at GHE. It seems to be something I talk about every day. But I’d much rather spend our resources on QA/QC than on stressing out about mistakes!
Our warehouse floor buzzes with multiple kit programs. We have direct install technicians picking up measurs and hundreds of commercial customers to send lighting to as well. So how do we ensure timely delivery of all the orders, ensuring they are accurate, consistent and deliver on our promises? Here are 4 high level tactics to our quality control:
1) Document Everything
Create a standard operating procedure document for every division. Policies and procedures should be written out, shared with all staff and reviewed twice a year for changes and updates. Have the courage to show these SOPs to your clients, so that you’re fully transparent about how your work is done.
These documents are worth their weight in gold for hiring, onboarding, and retraining employees. They are vital to the operation not just on a daily basis, but also for the rest of the team when an employee is absent. As an employee, you can schedule your days off with confidence, knowing that your team will execute in your absence. And customers have faith that the work will continue despite unexpected interruptions, illness, etc.
2) Velvet Rope Treatment
Have you ever seen a security guard move a velvet rope to allow a VIP to enter an area? Doesn’t it make you wonder where they’re going? Or what would happen if you tried to cross the velvet rope? In this case, the velvet rope treatment refers to physically segregating your divisions, programs and customer work in the warehouse. Do not allow one division’s work to leak into another. Do not put one customer’s kit literature in another’s area. If you’ve shared a bedroom with a sibling, you may know the trick about putting duct tape on the floor and forbidding him or her from crossing the line. Use electrified fencing if needed! Ok, that’s a bit extreme, but it really is important! Consider doing the same for shipments by having a receiving area and outbound area.
3) Assign, Don’t Assume
While team members may all be assigned to different programs and customers, cross-train the entire team to understand the goals and differentiators of each kit program. Then assign members to their programs. Ensure that each program has a leader who is responsible for reporting to the Warehouse Manager.
This way, the kitting teams have a full understanding of what they must accomplish for their program: packaging, measures, marketing, production schedule, technician pickups, routing shipping, and carrier pick ups. With this training, the entire crew is rowing in the same direction. If a problem or error arises, it’s easy to identify! And the crew knows how to take actionable steps to fix the problem, even if that just means knowing who to report it to.
Aligned with not making assumptions is thorough and proper communication. If we’re communicating, we don’t need to make assumptions. Communication is creates harmony in your work–again, so that everyone is rowing in the same direction.
Now you can see why we get so much work done here at GHE–our quality assurance and control enables us to focus less on problem solving and more on our customers’ successes!